WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A new bunch of fertilizer application regulations from the Office of the Indiana State Chemist helps ensure proper nutrient management and protects farmers and the environment, according to a Purdue Extension beef specialist.
The rule goes into effect Feb. 16. It includes staging and application restrictions for both inorganic (commercial) fertilizers and manure. The rule applies to anyone using fertilizers for the purpose of producing an agricultural crop (with the exception of those who apply less than 10 cubic yards in the span of 1 year).
Large permitted livestock operations that perform liquid nutrient applications already fall under the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Confined Feeding Operation laws. But, the new Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) rule extends to smaller producers who would mostly apply solid manure, according to Ron Lemenager.
"This is really a common-sense approach to nutrient management and preserving the environment," he said. "Most of our livestock producers already are doing these things, so the rule shouldn't be a significant burden."
The new rule requires both inorganic fertilizers and manure to be staged at least 300 feet away from surface water, water wells and drainage inlets. Neither can be staged in a waterway, floodway or standing water. Manure must also be staged at least 100 feet from property lines and public roads, and 400 feet from residential buildings.
Inorganic fertilizers cannot be applied directly to water, from a public road or to saturated ground.
Manure application comes with setback restrictions that depend on manure type and application method. For example, solid manure applied via single-pass incorporation would have to be applied 500 feet from public water supplies, 25 feet from surface waters, 25 feet from sinkholes, 50 feet from water wells and 5 feet from drainage inlets.
Lemenager says another important component of the rule is record-keeping.
"It's in the best interest of the farmers to keep records in case some sort of dispute arises - whether it's legal or neighbor relations," he said. "Records also offer some protection if you apply or stage manure, then an act of God causes something to leach into the water."
Record keeping can be as simple as recording whether setbacks were followed, where and how much manure was applied, the number of acres covered and whether a soil test was completed recently to adjust any commercial fertilizer applications.
Lemenager and his colleagues created a quick reference and record-keeping sheet, which is available for free download at this website.
You can also find full details along with a setback table and list of frequently asked questions at the OISC's website.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) proposed a pre-K voucher program as part of his 2014 agenda. The program would give underprivileged children access to pre-K programs.
A former Frankfort middle school principal is arrested for his part in what police call a child sex abuse case.
West Lafayette police have arrested one of the men they say robbed a restaurant while armed with a machete.